Under the auspices of the OEWG, India has highlighted the need for “real-time cooperation between government agencies”
in combatting cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyber threats more widely. To date, however, India has not signed any international cybercrime agreement. It voted in favour of a Russia-sponsored UNGA Resolution
calling for the establishment of a separate cybercrime treaty.
Despite having brought its legal framework largely in alignment with the Budapest Convention, India remains a non-party because the document was drafted without the country’s participation
, thus rending the treaty discriminatory. Another big objection has been raised on the basis of section 32.b, which gives intelligence agencies trans-border access to data for the purposes of criminal investigations with lawful and voluntary consent - a concern shared by Russia.
It has also been argued
that the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) regime under Budapest is not effective, as it does not commit states to a firm promise of cooperation; from the perspective of the Indians, it would be preferable
to replace this regime with a UN-driven process.
The US is a signatory and an early proponent of the Budapest Convention. A big part of American cyber diplomatic activity has, in fact, been focused on promoting the Budapest regime as the global model of cybercrime governance. In 2019, the US firmly opposed the Russian-sponsored resolution calling for an alternative legal instrument to the Convention; following the passing of the resolution, however, the US has agreed to participate in the Ad Hoc Committee established under UNGA resolution 74/247
despite the fact that the “surprise text” within the May 2021 resolution
was seen as an effort to “circumvent dialogue” and undermine the “balanced, inclusive, consensus-based process” sought by the US.
On a multilateral level, the US is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and is a member of Interpol.
Bilaterally, the US has completed an agreement
with the UK under the CLOUD Act that facilitates cross-border data sharing directly between US companies and the British government; the US is trying to expand this type of bilateral engagement, currently negotiating
a similar agreement with Australia.
The Information Society and Information Security Development Strategy for the period 2021-2026
provides a comprehensive approach to the field of information security, which includes both (a) information security of ICT systems of special importance and security of the Republic of Serbia, and (b) security of citizens and businesses, which is particularly reflected through the fight against cybercrime. Its predecessor, the 2017 Strategy for the Development of Information Security
, in turn, indicates the fight against cybercrime as one of the government’s five key priorities.
In light of EU accession negotiations, Serbia has signed and ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention), including its Additional Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism Committed Through Computer Systems. Nevertheless, the country also voted in favour of UNGA resolution 74/247 calling for an international legal instrument to govern this domain. Domestically, the national legislative framework has been developed in accordance with the Budapest Convention and EU legislation. A High-Tech Crime Unit has recently been established
within the special prosecutor’s office, along with three specialised units: crime analysis; terrorism and extremism; and drug prevention, addiction and repression.
Serbia is a member of Interpol, with which the country has discussed
ways to enhance cooperation with regard to combatting cybercrime. Serbia is also gradually developing its own bilateral cooperation network, signing a Cooperation Memoranda with India in 2016 [x
] and Romania in 2017 [x
] as well as receiving assistance from Russian experts [x
Special thanks to Ms Maja Lakusic for her valuable comments.